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Ex-Blizzard Boss Suggests Players Should Be Able to Tip the Devs of Special Games

Ex-Blizzard Boss Suggests Players Should Be Able to Tip the Devs of Special Games

“I know most will dislike this idea…”

Updated:

Apr 15, 2024 10:50 am

Posted:

Apr 15, 2024 10:44 am

The former boss of Blizzard Entertainment has suggested a post-purchase tip feature that would let players give $10 or $20 extra to the developers of special games.

Former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra tweeted that he’s often felt that upon completion of a particularly enjoyable single-player game, he’d like to give more money to the developers “because it was worth more than my initial $70 and they didn’t try to nickel and dime me every second.”

Games Ybarra mentioned that had sparked such a feeling include Guerrilla’s Horizon Zero Dawn, Sony Santa Monica’s God of War, Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, Larian’s Baldur’s Gate 3, and FromSoftware’s Elden Ring. “I know $70 is already a lot, but it’s an option at the end of the game I wish I had at times,” Ybarra continued. “Some games are that special.”

Image credit: Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images.

It’s fair to say the reaction to the suggestion is mixed, with many people saying they’re already forking out plenty of money for video games. Others have pointed out that some game platforms, such as itch.io, already allow tips, and that small indie developers often use established platforms for donations.

Many have also pointed out that any extra revenue generated through tips would invariably end up in the pockets of publishers, as opposed to the developers themselves, at least for the majority of triple-A releases. And if such a system were to hit the likes of Steam, the PlayStation Store, or the Xbox store, would Valve, Sony, and Microsoft all expect a cut?

On the other hand, others have backed the idea. Paul Kilduff-Taylor of Mode 7 Games tweeted: “People have discovered various ingenious ways to be angry about this but adding a ‘pay more if you want’ option to major stores would straightforwardly be excellent for devs – it works very well on Bandcamp.”

Ybarra ended his post acknowledging that the tipping idea won’t be for everyone. “I know most will dislike this idea,” he said. “BTW, I realize we are tired of ‘tipping’ in everything else – but I view this different from a pressure to tip type scenario many face and give feedback on.”

The video game industry is currently struggling amid one of the toughest periods for developers in recent memory, with thousands of staff laid off and an ever-growing list of studios shut down. This comes during a push for unionization across the industry as staff seek better protections from corporate cuts.

Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at wesley_yinpoole@ign.com or confidentially at wyp100@proton.me.

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